Phillips 66 Cottage-Style Filling Station - Ro...
Image by jenniferrt66 via Flickr

Some of us stay home for the holidays. Others make trips to see family and friends. But when you’ve got the kids in tow, road trips can become, well, rather unpleasant at times.

It’s not that we don’t enjoy spending time with our kids. In fact, just the opposite. It’s just that they get easily bored. And they get hungry – even more often on a long drive. And they need to stop at every rest area. (Well, most moms do too but I digress…)

But if you stop every time they want to stretch their legs or get a candy bar, you could add hours onto your trip. You may find yourself wondering why you didn’t just take a plane.

But road trips with the family don’t have to be an exercise in frustration. If you’re well prepared, they can actually be lots of fun. Here are some ideas to keep boredom and other things that make a road trip less pleasant at bay.

* Bring along plenty of snacks and drinks. But steer clear of chocolate, caffeine and sugar as much as possible, because these things can make already antsy kids even more hyperactive. Instead, pack some juice boxes, fresh fruits and veggies, crackers and other snacks that are healthy yet filling.

* Invest in a couple of travel games that the family can play together, or make up your own. These are great for keeping morale high and providing for quality time on long trips.

* Let each child bring a toy or individual game to play with. Most kids enjoy both group and individual activities at home, and they need both to keep them occupied and contented during a car trip. But be sure to place limits, because if you don’t, they’re likely to bring a whole bag full of stuff.

* If you have an infant, make sure to bring plenty of diapers, wipes, bottles and formula. Calculate how much of each item you will need, and bring about twice as much, just in case. Also, if any of your children take medication, be sure to bring an adequate supply.

* Bring something to put trash in. It’s surprising how many parents forget this. If you fail to do so, you’re just about guaranteed to end up with a car full of trash by the time the trip is over. Depending on the size of your family, you might need a grocery bag or a full-sized garbage bag.

* Be prepared for messes. If you have a mini car vac, it’s a good idea to bring it along. Other things you might need include wet wipes, paper towels, upholstery and carpet stain remover and glass cleaner.

* Ask kids if they need to use the restroom each time you stop at a restaurant or gas station. Otherwise, you might find yourself making lots of unscheduled rest stops.

Parents often consider holiday road trips necessary evils in which they must participate to get where they’re going. But if you plan ahead, the trip can be enjoyable for the whole family.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *